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The Story of Money


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About the Author

Betsy Maestro is the author of the "American Story" series, illustrated by her husband, Giulio. She has also written several other non-fiction picture books, including the Let's-Read-And-Find-Out science books How Do Apples Grow? and Why Do Leaves Change Color? The Maestros live in Old Lyme, Connecticut. Giulio Maestro is the illustrator of over 100 children's books. He has also written his own books of word play and has co-authored two I Can Read Books with his son, Marco: What Do You Hear When Cows Sing, and Other Silly Riddles and Geese Find the Missing Piece: School Time Riddle Rhymes. The Maestros live in Old Lyme, CT.


This prolific team tackles the advent of legal tender and a mini-history of economics in their latest picture book. The concept of barter is introduced and then shown evolving into the modern practice of trading money for goods and services. Currency's physical development is also chronicled, from Native American wampum to Spanish ``pieces of eight'' to various European precious metal coins and printed paper bills. Although the text contains a vast array of factoids, their presentation lacks style and excitement. The dry, straightforward sentence structure fails to illuminate this topic's potentially engrossing aspects. Giulio Maestro's detailed, historically accurate illustrations, rendered in muted pencil, watercolor and crayon, prove serviceable without adding much spark. This volume will be useful in classrooms and libraries for its noteworthy effort to place a concept within historical contexts. Ages 7-10. (Mar.)

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